For about eight months columnist Andrew McCarthy appeared on television and wrote dozens of articles about the slow-drip of information stemming from the Trump-Russia probe and the IG Horowitz investigation. Almost all of the articles were sympathetic to the institutions being challenged. However, in mid-May a funny thing happened.
The weekend before May 15th McCarthy actually broke down and read the six-month-old Lisa Page and Peter Strzok text messages he had been delivering opinion on; and guess what happened? Yup, his perspective changed within a period of 36-hours, and with it – a radical shift in tone and delivery. In essence, he red-pilled himself.
What does that have to do with FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Jeff Sessions? Please bear with me.
When Christopher Wray appeared before the media three hours after the IG report, one thing was stunningly obvious: he never read the report. Wray might have been briefed on a summary of the report, but there was no way Director Wray actually read the documented substance, the details and the facts, within the center of the report.
As a direct consequence Chris Wray looked and sounded like Baghdad Bob standing in front of the cameras. “There are no Americans bombing Baghadad”, as the explosions are seen over his shoulders, was akin to “there’s no structural or institutional bias” as nom de plume FBI agents madly wave “F**k Trump” banners in the background.
It was an absurd display of a disconnect from the institution he is leading.
If you only read the executive summary of the IG report, you might not see how ridiculously absurd Director Wray’s presentation was. In the old school corporate world we used to have a saying: “never allow your leadership to be compromised“; obviously those who briefed Wray had no issue watching him make a professional ass out of himself. Then again, perhaps that was the intention.
That stark reality should be alarming to everyone given the intended responsibilities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Alas, the reality now highlights why the FBI is a collapsing institution. With a reputation in tatters, it is soon to become a caricature of its former self…. unless something happens quickly.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions didn’t read the IG report either. If he did he would have quickly called Wray and asked him ‘what the f**k‘ he was doing. Instead the AG doubled-down on the Baghdad Bob approach.
When CTH says that neither AG Jeff Sessions nor FBI Director Wray actually read the report, that statement is not from some snarky click-bait arbitrary opinion. In the same way the lack of informational absorption was visible with Andy McCarthy from Oct. 2017 through May 2018, some things are transparently obvious. We just have to accept them.
It takes a good 30 hours to fully read the IG report; approximately the same amount of time it takes to read all of the Page/Strzok text messages. There’s lots of back and forth cross referencing needed. My current review of media analysis lends me to believe that only a few, perhaps three so far, have actually read the 568-page report.
And that brings me to another reason why, at least to me, both Jeff Sessions and Christopher Wray are suffering from Battered/Disconnected Institutional Syndrome.
Within the IG report almost all of the key participants’ names are hidden. Instead the reports’ authors chose to use descriptions like: “FBI Agent #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, etc.” Or “Analyst 1, 2, 3”; or “FBI Lawyer-1, FBI Lawyer-2”; or the ridiculously byzantine insider acronyms for all of the positions of the officials. A conveniently useful bureaucratic mess of acronyms to hide behind. Flippin’ ridiculous is what it is. I digress…
The point is – by using descriptions the IG hides the obvious. Those acronym-hidden officials still work inside the current FBI and DOJ; and that’s another big issue creating the Battered Institutional System that infects both of the Trump appointees.
Case in point: FBI Lawyer #1. We know who she is because we’ve done a great deal of research on the issues, and many of these titles/acronyms are listed by name in the Page/Strzok messages. FBI Lawyer #1 is Tashina “Tash” Gauhar, literally from the school and law firm of former Obama “wingman” Attorney General Eric Holder.
2009- Tashina Gauhar is the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Intelligence. Ms. Gauhar has extensive experience working with the U.S. Intelligence Community and has held a variety of national security positions within the Department since 2001, including serving as an Assistant Counsel in the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review and later as the Deputy Chief of Operations in the Office of Intelligence, and recently the Chief of Operations. Prior to joining the Justice Department, Ms. Gauhar was an associate at the law firm of DLA Piper (then Piper Marbury Rudnick and Wolfe, LLP). (link)
Tashina was the MYE team member who was on a September 29, 2016, conference call with the FBI New York field office about the Weiner/Abedin laptop. FBI Lawyer #1 Tashina Gauhar was directly at the center, no, the epicenter, of the most controversial time frame for the Mid-Year-Event team.
Tashina was one of only three MYE people who actually had the responsibility to review the Clinton emails from the Weiner/Abedin laptop. [The other two were Peter Strzok and the unknown “lead analyst]
Tashina is probably only eclipsed by Lisa Page and Peter Strzok in the level of influence within the entire Mid-Year-Team apparatus. “Tash”, as she was known to the team, is a hub amid a very tight circle. Tashina Gauhar held a great deal of influence… Suffice to say, the spawn of Eric Holder is a big deal in the story.
You know what other decision Tashina Gauhar was influential in?
Attorney General Jeff Sessions recusal:
Note this meeting was on March 2nd, 2017. Which prompted this announcement:
WASHINGTON POST, March 2 2017 – Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday that he will recuse himself from investigations related to the 2016 presidential campaign, which would include any Russian interference in the electoral process.
Speaking at a hastily called news conference at the Justice Department, Sessions said he was following the recommendation of department ethics officials after an evaluation of the rules and cases in which he might have a conflict.
“They said that since I had involvement with the campaign, I should not be involved in any campaign investigation,” Sessions said. He added that he concurred with their assessment and would thus recuse himself from any existing or future investigation involving President Trump’s 2016 campaign. (link)
Yes, the DOJ/FBI lawyer at the heart of the Clinton-email investigation; the DOJ/FBI lawyer hired by Eric Holder at his firm and later at the DOJ; the DOJ/FBI lawyer who was transferred to the Clinton probe; the DOJ/FBI lawyer at the epicenter of the Weiner laptop issues, the only one from MYE who spoke to New York; the DOJ/FBI lawyer who constructs the FISA applications on behalf of Main Justice;…. just happens to be the same DOJ/FBI lawyer recommending to AG Jeff Sessions that he recuse himself….
Battered Institutional Syndrome!